Errin Joe was one of Georgia Tech's most improved players in 2014, and stepped up big for RT Chris Griffin, who was injured for much of the season. Today we'll take a look at how his 2014 performance affected his draft stock, and discuss what he'll need to do this season to be considered in the 2016 NFL Draft.
As a Recruit
According to Rivals, Joe was a high 3-star recruit(5.7 score) from Lakeland Florida. He chose Tech over a slew of Power 5 offers, including Florida State and South Carolina. Ranked as the number 79 recruit in Florida, Joe was a highly sought-after recruit and a big recruiting win for Georgia Tech.
As a Jacket
Errin Joe's college career got off to a discouragingly slow start. After redshirting, Joe's early career was marred by injuries, and he only saw action in 3 games prior to his junior year in 2014. 2014 didn't get off to a great start either, as Freshman Chris Griffin was chosen to start over Joe. However, an opportunity showed itself when Griffin was sidelined with nagging injuries for portions of the season. Joe was able to make the most of this opportunity, playing well and earning more and more playing time with each successive game. He'll need that playing time this next season in order to showcase his skills to NFL scouts.
As an NFL Prospect
While Joe plays Tackle for the Jackets, he will best translate to a Guard in a pro style offense. At 6-3, he has the frame of an NFL guard, and won't be criticized for his height like Shaq Mason was in this year's draft. After watching some film from last year, I found that Joe uses exceptionally good technique for someone with so little playing time. He showed poise in pass protection, power in the run game, and the athleticism required to get blocks at the second level. He formed a great tandem with Shaq Mason, together forming a fearsome right side of the offensive line. Joe will need to prove that he can succeed without his All-American counterpart next to him, and will need to show that the injuries that plagued him in his early career were just a fluke.
As it currently stands, I don't think Errin Joe will be drafted in 2016. He hasn't yet shown scouts enough to make them want to take a risk in drafting him. However, after he failed to win the starting job at the beginning of 2014, I thought he may never see the field again in a Georgia Tech uniform. He's proved me wrong before, and was one of the most improved players over the course of the year. If he can lock down the job this year and play at a high level, he'll certainly have a chance. Here's to hoping I'm wrong again.